First concrete poured on new downtown Louisville bridge paves wa - WDRB 41 Louisville News

First concrete poured on new downtown Louisville bridge paves way for Jan. completion

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The first layer of concrete for the deck of the new downtown bridge sits covered May 12, 2015. The first layer of concrete for the deck of the new downtown bridge sits covered May 12, 2015.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The first concrete has been poured for the deck of the new downtown bridge and that milestone is good news for drivers as the rest of the bridge will take shape in about eight months.

As drivers travel across the Kennedy Bridge, it's hard not to notice the progress underway next to it.

“Some of the biggest headaches, in my opinion, are probably behind us,” Andy Barber, with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said.

This weekend, the first concrete was poured for the deck of the new bridge. It's been covered up for now, but officials say it's just the first of nine layers that will take about 10 hours each to complete.

“So once the decks are all put together, the last thing we'll do is put a two-inch overlay, which is the driving surface,” Walsh Construction's Joel Halterman explained. “It will make a nice smooth ride, so we'll have a smooth ride across the bridge.”

The last year has included lane restrictions and changes for drivers, but the beginning of the deck means the end -- expected in January 2016 -- is in sight. The process of completing the deck will continue through the fall and will bring another traffic shift drivers will notice this summer.

"We'll be bringing southbound traffic over to the new northbound side and then doing a crossover onto the old JFK bridge right behind us, making preparations for the new cable-stayed bridge to open," Walsh's Blake Morris said.

The Ohio River Bridges Project is expected to be completely finished by December 2016 and officials say the project is still on schedule.

More: Downtown bridge expected to open ahead of schedule next year

In-Depth: Bridges officials approve plan aimed at reducing toll shock on low-income residents

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